PSA's / On Air Announcements
Contact: Matt Comings
Chicago's Progressive Talk
5475 N. Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60630
Dear Public Service Provider,
Chicago's Progressive Talk is glad to help generate publicity for your group or event. However, there are a few simple rules that must be followed in order for us to be able to run your announcement. Please look over the Public Service Announcement Tips below. It is important that you carefully follow these rules. We cannot change any announcement that does not follow these guidelines, so please understand that if these rules are not followed, we regret that we cannot run your announcement. On the other hand, following these guidelines will help generate publicity and excitement for you activity or group. PSA's must be submitted 2 weeks in advance of the event to allow time for production. Because PSA's go into general rotation, we cannot give details about how often a PSA airs or the exact time a PSA will air.
WRITING A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
TIPS FROM Chicago's Progressive Talk
1. How many words can be included in a PSA?
Here at Chicago's Progressive Talk, we generally air :30 second PSAs
30 Seconds = 80 Words
It's important that the length is accurate, otherwise, the PSA may not be usable.
2. Counting words properly.
It is not sufficient to use your computer's "Word Count". The computer does not count numbers or website/email addresses correctly. Count each number as a separate word, just the way you would if you wrote out the number.
Example: 21 is actually two words – "twenty" and "one".
Nor does the "Word Count" function in your computer recognize that a phone number with dashes is more than one word.
"Word count" thinks this phone number is one word. It is actually 10 words. If, for any reason, a dash or period must also be read, remember to count these as well. The same issue occurs with website or email addresses.
Word count says this email address is one word.
This address is actually 7 words:
k / clarke / at / newsweb / radio / dot / net
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
If you read your phone number, website or email address out loud, you will usually count correctly.
3. How do I make the PSA effective?
Don't try to get all the information in. Include what, where, when and then other important information.
Leave time to repeat the phone number or website twice at the end of the PSA
Don't include your email address if it's too hard to understand hearing it only once (for instance, long website addresses). One mistake is to include the phone number only once because a long website address takes up so many words.
Don't "bury the lead". The first sentence of the PSA should catch the listener's attention and call attention to the most important element of the PSA. It should be a call to action.
Don't get too technical. Keep it simple. If you can get the listeners to call, come, write, check your website, or do the one, most important thing you want them to do, you'll have the opportunity to give them more, in-depth, information.